Friday, 18 February 2011


Could the Dark Eldar also be popular because of the balance between male and female miniatures? A pleasant thought to offset the less pleasant nature of what those minis represent. Re my ponder under the last post, perhaps a sleek female form - in skimpy clothing in the case of Lilith Hesperax - sells better too than a short, portly abhuman?

Three recent posts then on a hot subject of late - men, women and games.

It might be best to read this first, an image-heavy post on what we mean by 'sex sells', with thanks to TalkToYoUniverse for the referral.

If that seems overly simplistic, you could well enjoy this fuller essay.

If you haven't been following the discussion between Greg and Zak on the representation of women in games here at Errant, it's challenging and I recommend reading as much as you can. Here's the post I think best puts the context, also an excellent contribution.

Finally, Atrotos has a new post up at Victory Candescence on the subject of computer games especially. It's irreverant to say the least, but arrives at an interesting conclusion.


Paul´s Bods said...

Being a practical type of bloke...I like the look of skimpily clad young maidens waving weapons about or just pouting whilst posing in a bit of clothing that offers little protection and hardly any "support", but for the battle´s not in my mind sensible.
I´m not saying that due to being female, stay at home and do the cleaning etc, but if they are to be out and about fighting then dress for the occasion...which usually means ending up looking like thier male counterparts ie; Joan of Arc...with the visor down she´s just another suit of armour with a body in it.
Obviously there are eras where the women were VERY distinctive if they dresse as the males...greek amazons for example...there´s very little disguising the small differences there.
In the realms of fantasy wargaming, it is obvious though, that if I have to suspend my belief and except that a 20foot tall green slimeball is about to attack, then it is possible that I might accept that the blonde greek goddess with two polished steel egg cups covering her large dignities, feels ok dressed in this manner wether she be in the desert or the frozen wastes of an ice planet. She´s a fighter, she´s trained and she´s well hard.

Colonel Kane said...

Sex undoubtedly sells in wargames, though I think its a huge mistook to assume it sells to *adolescent* males. As far as I can tell, the edgy and (in my opinion) subtle use of sexuality inherent in the Dark Eldar is way *too* subtle for most boys, so they'd either not notice it or be unmoved by it. I heard a terrifying statistic today about how much *adult material* the average male teenager watches on the internet per week these days, and if its true, stuff like Lelith can't possibly come up on their radar. Rather, from what I've seen over 20 years of gaming is that its the 'grown up boys' who can't resist reaching for the cash when a miniature shows a little flesh, and I imagine my friends at Hasslefree Miniatures would confirm that if asked who buys their Harem Girl miniatures!

Porky said...

@ Paul's Bods - That's a persuasive argument. If we can accept the greenskins, why not the bare skin? As counter-argument, I'd say there's the issue of the message sent out into the real world for male and female alike. At the 'sex sells' article the argument is that certain aspects of male sexual desire are being validated or even encouraged - and not necessarily in a form desired or accepted in full by any or all women - at the cost of female. Men and women may alter their behaviour, even if slightly, on the basis of this. The fuller article linked to in the text suggests that women - and men in turn - may be suffering as a result of unrealistic demands being made of them, but demands which they might feel compelled to live up to.

@ Colonel Kane - Set in that light it does start to look trivial. Then again, the issue is also the other ideas packaged with any use of sexuality, however subtle. This might be exploitation, or even violence and sadism. We have to trust in the self-awareness and responsibility of adult consumers, but I wonder whether producers can be trusted not to play with the powerful forces for their own gain? If the reasoning mentioned in the reply to Paul's Bods is correct, it could be damaging to us all if they do.

ArmChairGeneral said...

Cohabitation is just wrong, wait until you are married and then get her to watch the kids a few times. She'll come around and want to game with you! :D

Paul´s Bods said...

AHA!!! The internal perception argument...which is different for every individual on the planet. How many are we now...6-7 billion..? That´s 6-7 billion different versions of the world and the meaning of our individual existance upon it. The realms of perception are too complex to finalise /quantify in one "all covering" definition. The best way is to try and se the world as it is and treat all ages, races, beliefs and sexes the same...we all live in the same time frame and the same real existance.
What´s this got to do with gaming? Not a lot but this is fun to discuss ;-D

Atrotos said...

Thanks for the shout-out Porky! Of all the places to find a surprise link to my site the Expanse! is one of the best I could have hoped for.

Porky said...

@ ArmChairGeneral - Real life tactics..!

@ Paul's Bods - That's a sentiment it's hard to disagree with, and who would want to? Fun it most certainly is!

@ Atrotos - No worries - you've certainly got a regular reader in me, at both of the blogs.